Viral Hepatitis Elimination Group

Co-Heads: Professor Margaret Hellard and Dr Joseph Doyle

Overview

Globally viral hepatitis is a major disease burden responsible for an estimated 1.4 million deaths per year, the vast majority of these due to hepatitis B and hepatitis C. In Australia it is estimated that more than 220,000 people are living with chronic hepatitis C infection and more than 200,000 are living with hepatitis B.

The Viral Hepatitis Group works closely with virologists, immunologists and mathematical modellers to improve our understanding of hepatitis C and its transmission, and improving the management and care of people already infected with these viruses. The ultimate aim is to eliminate hepatitis C and B transmission and illness and deaths related to these viruses by 2030.

We conduct innovative studies, working closely with key affected populations including:

  • people who inject drugs (PWID), the group most at risk of HCV infection in Australia
  • people from culturally and linguistically diverse communities, the group a most risk of hepatitis B infection in Australia
  • men who have sex with men
  • the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community
  • prisoners.

Our work aims to reduce disease transmission of these infections and improve the detection, management and health outcomes of people already infected with these viruses.

Objectives

  • To work with key affected populations to improve our understanding of hepatitis B and C transmission, risk, diagnosis and care.
  • To establish surveillance systems to accurately measure hepatitis B and C incidence and prevalence in Australia
  • Continue to follow cohorts of PWID with or at risk of hepatitis C using a social network approach
  • Work with key national and international researchers to develop international cohorts of PWID with hepatitis C
  • Work with immunologists and virologists to understand the determinants of hepatitis C primary infection, reinfection and naïve infection
  • Work with health services, including The Alfred, St Vincent’s and Royal Melbourne Hospitals and community health services to develop models of care to improve hepatitis C management in PWID
  • Work with health services, particularly community health services and general practitioners to improve the identification of undiagnosed hepatitis B, and the management of people with chronic hepatitis B
  • Work with key national and international researchers and organisations, including WHO to develop guidelines for hepatitis B and C surveillance, testing, care and treatment.

Highlights

  • Central involvement in the development of the first WHO Guidelines for Screening Care and Treatment in people infected with hepatitis C
  • Completion of the Australian Trial in Acute Hepatitis C (ATAHC), which showed that PWID can be successfully enrolled and retained in HCV treatment and the successful involvement in ATAHC 2.
  • The commencement of the Treatment and Prevention Study – the first study globally to examine the feasibility of using a nurse led model of care for hepatitis C treatment of PWID with new direct acting antiviral therapy, using a networks based
  • The establishment of the Prime Study - using community based clinics previously established to improve hepatitis care in PWID, we will undertake a trial compared the efficacy of treamtnet in the community compared with a tertiary hospital setting.
  • The use of the ACCESS surveillance system to measure hepatitis B and hepatitis C incidence and prevalence.
  • The establishment of the Centre for Research Excellence in Injecting Drug Use (CREIDU)

Projects

  • co-EC Study: Eliminating hepatitis C/HIV coinfection

  • DARE C: ATAHC II Substudy

  • EC Partnership: Eliminate Hepatitis C Partnership

  • Eliminate Hepatitis C Australia Partnership: EC Australia

  • Feasibility and Outcomes of the Public Sector Hepatitis C Treatment Program in Myanmar

  • HCV Elimination Modelling

  • Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies

  • Hepatitis C: Community Testing and Treatment (CT2)

  • Identifying the barriers to hepatitis B clinical management: the perspectives of people with hepatitis B.

  • Identifying the structural enablers to the clinical management of people with hepatitis B in general practice: a qualitative investigation

  • Modelling hepatitis C virus elimination and control policies in Myanmar

  • National COVID-19 Clinical Evidence Taskforce

  • SHARP: Screening for Hepatitis in At-Risk Populations

  • The International Collaboration on Hepatitis C Elimination in HIV Cohorts (InCHEHC)

  • The PharmEC REACH study

  • The QuickStart Study

Staff Members

  • Doctor Alisa Pedrana

    Doctor Alisa Pedrana
    Senior Research Fellow, Eliminate Hepatitis C Australia Coordinator

  • Doctor Anna Wilkinson

    Doctor Anna Wilkinson
    Research Fellow

  • Anna Bowring

    Anna Bowring
    Senior Technical Advisor, NHMRC Postdoctoral Research Fellow

  • Anna Palmer

    Anna Palmer
    Research Assistant

  • Brendan  Harney

    Brendan Harney
    Research Assistant

  • Chloe Layton

    Chloe Layton
    EC Nurse co-ordinator

  • Doctor Daniela van Santen

    Doctor Daniela van Santen
    Postdoctoral fellow

  • Emily  Adamson

    Emily Adamson
    Program Manager, Health Promotion, EC Australia

  • Filip Djordjevic

    Filip Djordjevic
    Research Assistant

  • Freya Saich

    Freya Saich
    Lead Policy Officer, EC Australia

  • Ho Yin (Ashley) Lam

    Ho Yin (Ashley) Lam
    Honours Student

  • Doctor Imogen Elsum

    Doctor Imogen Elsum
    Research Program Manager

  • Doctor Jack  Wallace

    Doctor Jack Wallace
    Senior Research Officer

  • Jack Gunn

    Jack Gunn
    Research Assistant

  • Doctor Jacqui  Richmond

    Doctor Jacqui Richmond
    Program Manager, Workforce Development and Health Service Delivery, EC Australia

  • Associate Professor Joseph Doyle

    Associate Professor Joseph Doyle
    Deputy Program Director, Disease Elimination; Co-Head, Viral Hepatitis Elimination; NHMRC Clinical Research Fellow

  • Joshua Dawe

    Joshua Dawe
    Research Assistant

  • Kate Allardice

    Kate Allardice

  • Doctor Katherine Heath

    Doctor Katherine Heath
    Research Officer

  • Kico Chan

    Kico Chan
    Research Nurse/ EC Nurse

  • Professor Margaret Hellard AM

    Professor Margaret Hellard AM
    Deputy Director (Programs); Adjunct Professor, Monash University, DEPM.

  • Marvad  Ahad

    Marvad Ahad
    Honours Student

  • Melissa  Wright

    Melissa Wright
    EC Training and Education Coordinator

  • Mellissa Bryant

    Mellissa Bryant
    Senior Researcher

  • Doctor Ned Latham

    Doctor Ned Latham
    Research assistant

  • Doctor Nick Scott

    Doctor Nick Scott
    Econometrician

  • Doctor Phone Myint Win

    Doctor Phone Myint Win
    Country Representative, Myanmar

  • Doctor Phyo  Aung

    Doctor Phyo Aung
    PhD Candidate

  • Doctor Rebecca Winter

    Doctor Rebecca Winter
    Senior Research Officer

  • Doctor Romesh Abeysuriya

    Doctor Romesh Abeysuriya
    Senior Research Officer – Computational Epidemic Modelling

  • Doctor Shelley Walker

    Doctor Shelley Walker
    Research Officer

  • Sophia Schröder

    Sophia Schröder
    Research Assistant

  • Stelliana Goutzamanis

    Stelliana Goutzamanis
    PhD student

  • Stephanie Franet

    Stephanie Franet
    Project Manager

  • Doctor Stephanie Munari

    Doctor Stephanie Munari
    Public Health Registrar

  • Troy Combo

    Troy Combo
    Program Manager, Aboriginal Health Plan, EC Australia

  • Doctor Wijnand Van Den Boom

    Doctor Wijnand Van Den Boom
    Research Officer